A Survey on Medical Robotic Telepresence Design from the Perspective of Medical Staff

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Background With the development of robotic technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotic telepresence is slowly making its way into our surrounding environment through a variety of commercial products that allow people to communicate remotely. Previous research about Robotic Telepresence for the Medical environment (RTM) mainly focused on developing or improving systems designed for specific application domains, such as surgical operations, elderly care, educational training, and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). This paper instead focuses on understanding the design factors for robotic telepresence with medical purpose that better address the needs and the points of view of the diverse staff members who operate these systems. Methods We conducted a qualitative user study to investigate the perspectives of various medical staff (14 doctors, two nurses, and one administrator), and we asked them which main factors may influence their perception and usage of RTM. We conducted semistructured indepth interviews and an open-ended survey to understand the participants' current way of using telecommunication systems and their expectation about RTM, with focus on three points: context of use, additional functionalities, and appearance. Results The results showed that medical staff has concerns about how to operate systems for medical services and opinions about the viability of the physical interaction between the medical staff and the patients through the robotic systems. Based on the collected data, we organized the results into three parts: usage context, functionality, and appearance design. Conclusions In this paper, we explore possible design directions for medical RTM based on the opinions of various medical staff. We then discuss the main design factors, and we suggest general features of RTM related with trust, the suitable number of people interacting with the system, the level of expertise of the medical staff, the type of disease treated, and the appearance of the robot itself (e.g., height, humanoid features). In addition, we suggest three design directions to explore unique usage purposes: advanced visual communication, attachment of a required medical unit, and integration into the environment.
Korean Society of Design Science
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Archives of Design Research, v.30, no.1, pp.61 - 71

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ID-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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